News / Africa

UN's Pillay Warns CAR Sectarian Violence Getting Worse

FILE - U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay..
FILE - U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay..
VOA News
The United Nations' top human rights official says deadly sectarian violence in the Central African Republic appears to be getting worse.

In a statement Wednesday, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said most of the ongoing abuses are being committed by "anti-Balaka" militia who she said are deliberately targeting the Muslim population of the capital, Bangui.

Pillay said militias are killing and raping Muslims and destroying their homes "with the clear aim of discouraging any Muslims from returning."

She also noted that some groups of ex-Seleka rebels are also targeting Christian civilians in the capital.

A U.N. spokesman said Pillay has warned leaders in the CAR to take steps to stop the violence.

"The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, has reminded leaders in position of authority that they have legal obligations and will be held personally accountable for the serious human rights violations committed in country as a result of their actions or of their omissions," he said.

Pillay has called for every effort to be made to "restore security, rule of law and ensure accountability."

The Central African Republic descended into chaos after mainly Muslim Seleka rebels overthrew the president last March and went on a nationwide rampage of killing and looting.  The anti-Balaka groups that sprung up have gone on the offensive, forcing Seleka to retreat.

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